Charleston Southern University / Faculty and Staff / Employee Grant Program

Employee Grant Program

 

Effective Date: Fall semester 2012, unless otherwise noted below. The Employee Grant Program (tuition waiver) is an employee benefit provided to all regular full-time employees, their legal spouse and dependents.

General Program Benefits: Program benefits for undergraduate coursework are immediate upon regular full-time employment. The employee must begin full-time employment prior to the beginning date of the term in which the employee/spouse/dependent is enrolling.

Program benefits for graduate coursework requires one year uninterrupted employment prior to the beginning date of the term in which the employee or spouse is enrolling.

The Employee Grant Program is managed in accordance with federal, state and institutional financial aid policies and procedures.

Program Guidelines:

1. Eligibility

a.  Employees. Regular full-time employees, full-time faculty and non-faculty personnel on contracts of at least 10 months annually are eligible, providing all other criteria is met. Temporary employees, visiting professors or lecturers are not eligible.

b.  Spouse. A legal husband or wife of the eligible employee.

c.  Dependents. A “dependent” for purposes of eligibility for an Employee Grant is a person who meets dependency status per federal financial aid guidelines.  A child may be claimed on the employee tax return but not considered a dependent according to federal regulations.

The federal financial aid guidelines for a dependent student are:

  • Under the age of 24
  • Working on an undergraduate degree
  • Single with no dependents
  • Not attained veteran status
  • Not be considered a ward of the court

2.  Admissions

All employees, spouses and dependents utilizing the Employee Grant Program must apply for undergraduate or graduate admission to the University and be accepted for admission based on current admission standards. All applicants must pay the application fee. This is an online application process and the application fee cannot be waived unless it is in an already established time period where the application fee is being waived for all applicants, not just employees/spouses/children.

3.  Maximum Institutional Award

Each employee has a maximum amount of institutional aid that may be used annually for the employee and his/her spouse or dependents. The combined total of Employee Grant funds that may be used by the employee and his/her spouse or dependents during a financial aid year (fall semester through summer semester) cannot exceed the equivalent of the current year annual full-time undergraduate tuition rate for one person for the Fall and Spring semesters.

Within the annual full-time tuition rate equivalency noted above, no more than 12 credit hours per year may be used for graduate coursework. This 12 credit hour maximum is for a single student or a combination of several family members enrolled in graduate classes.

Any unused portion of the annual Maximum Institutional Award in any year cannot be applied to an earlier fiscal year nor carried forward for use in a later fiscal year.

4.  Attendance Criteria

a.  Employees. Employees may take undergraduate or graduate classes outside their normal working hours during any term with permission from their direct supervisor and senior officer.  Permission is to be obtained by authorized signatures on the Employee Grant Form that must be submitted prior to the beginning of each term. The Employee Grant Form may be downloaded from the university website at Charlestonsouthern.edu. The document is located under the Faculty and Staff section. The student’s course schedule must be attached to the Employee Grant Form prior to submission to the Financial Aid Office.

b.  Spouse.  The legal spouse of an employee, as defined under Eligibility, may attend either part-time or full-time as an undergraduate or graduate student during any term with permission from the direct supervisor and senior officer. Permission is to be obtained by authorized signatures on the Employee Grant Form that must be submitted prior to the beginning of each term. The Employee Grant Form may be downloaded from the university website at Charlestonsouthern.edu. The document is located under the Faculty and Staff section. The student’s course schedule must be attached to the Employee Grant Form prior to submission to the Financial Aid Office.

c.  Dependents. A dependent of an employee, as defined under Eligibility, may attend either part-time or full-time as an undergraduate student during any term with permission from the direct supervisor and senior officer. Permission is to be obtained by authorized signatures on the Employee Grant Form that must be submitted prior to the beginning of each term. The Employee Grant Form may be downloaded from the university website at Charlestonsouthern.edu. The document is located under the Faculty and Staff section.  The student’s course schedule must be attached to the Employee Grant Form prior to submission to the Financial Aid Office.

5.  S.C. Hope/S.C. Life and S.C. Palmetto Fellow Scholarship Recipients

a.  Book Allowance. Employees/Spouses/Dependents who are eligible to receive funds from the Employee Grant Program and qualify by the State of South Carolina to receive the S.C. Hope Scholarship, will be allowed to use $150 per year of their scholarship for books.

Employees/Spouses/Dependents who are eligible to receive funds from the Employee Grant Program and qualify by the State of South Carolina to receive the S.C. Life Scholarship or S. C. Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, will be allowed to use $300 per year of their scholarship for books. The amount of funds each year will be based on the amount of funds allocated by the S.C. Legislature for this purpose. This will be awarded above the full-time tuition benefit of the Employee Grant Program.

b.  Housing Allowance.

Dependents will not be allowed to use their S.C. Hope Scholarship, S.C. Life Scholarship or the S. C. Palmetto Fellow Scholarship as a part of their Housing Allowance. 

Temporary Exception:  Dependents who have used the fifty-percent housing allowance in semesters prior to June 1, 2012 will be allowed to continue to use it through spring semester 2013 only.

6. Other Program Provisions

The employee receiving an employee grant for himself, spouse or his dependent(s) does so under the following provisions:

a.  Beginning fall semester 2013, the Employee Grant Program benefit will not support tuition waiver for enrollment as a non-degree seeking student at Charleston Southern University.  A few examples of a non-degree seeking student would be a current high school student who dual-enrolls at CSU or a student of record at another institution who takes classes during the summer at CSU to transfer back to their home institution.  If you have questions concerning this provision, please consult the university catalog under Types of Acceptance for a definition of non-degree seeking.  This provision applies to undergraduate and graduate students.  Employees (not dependents or spouses) who would like to audit a class as a non-degree seeking student, may be allowed to do so on a space available basis.

b.  All students, undergraduate and graduate, full-time or part-time must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or greater in order to be considered to receive the tuition waiver benefit for a subsequent term.  In the case of programs offering classes in a sub-term format, this would apply to sub-terms. This also applies to students who transfer to CSU from another institution. The GPA at their prior institution must be 2.5 or higher or they will not be eligible to receive the tuition waiver benefit.

Temporary Exception: (Students receiving the tuition waiver benefit who were enrolled during spring semester or summer semester 2012 and are continuing for fall 2012 and do not currently meet the minimum 2.5 GPA requirement will be allowed to receive the tuition waiver benefit during the fall 2012 semester only. The minimum 2.5 GPA requirement will be required for these students for any semesters after fall 2012).

7. Federal/Institutional Work-Study

Students receiving the employee tuition waiver benefit will not be eligible to receive federal or institutional work-study funds.

8.  FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Requirement

a.  Undergraduate

All recipients of the Employee Grant Program who enroll in an undergraduate program must submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year prior to July 1 for the fall semester, prior to November 1 for the spring semester or prior to April 1 for the summer semester.  The summer semester includes maymester, extended maymester and all summer sub-terms.  To be considered for Direct Federal Stafford Loans, the family member must request loans on the Employee Grant Form when it is submitted to the financial aid office.

Should the employee begin full-time employment after July 1 but prior to the beginning date of the fall semester, he/she must still submit the FAFSA for that term if the recipient will be enrolled in an undergraduate program. THE FAFSA may be completed on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Requests for exceptions to filing the FAFSA must be submitted in writing to the Vice-President for Enrollment Management.

b.  Graduate

All recipients of the Employee Grant Program who attend full-time or part-time in a graduate program, will only need to complete the FAFSA if they are interested in applying for student loans. To be considered for Direct Federal Stafford Loans, the employee or family member must request loans on the Employee Grant Form when this form is submitted to the financial aid office.

9.  If the employee/spouse/dependent is attending in part-time status and withdraws from a course or courses after drop/add with W, WP or WF or receives a grade of NA or FA, the employee will be responsible for payment of all tuition charges for this course(s). Financial aid will be reduced for the courses not completed.

The student may appeal these charges to the Financial Appeals Committee at http://www.csuniv.edu/studentaccounts/appeals.asp.

10. If the employee/spouse/dependent is attending in full-time status and completely withdraws from a course or courses after drop/add, but remains in full-time status, the employee/spouse/dependent must meet financial aid satisfactory progress as defined in the University Catalog to remain eligible for the benefit in subsequent semesters.

11. If the employee/spouse/dependent is attending in full-time status and takes any action that reduces them to part-time status after drop/add, the employee will be responsible for payment of balance on student account due to difference between full tuition charges and part-time financial aid.The student may appeal these charges to the Financial Appeals Committee at http://www.csuniv.edu/studentaccounts/appeals.asp.

12. If full-time employment ceases for any reason during a semester, the tuition waiver will be pro-rated for the semester in which it was awarded and the employee ceased employment.The employee will be responsible for the balance generated on the student account when the tuition waiver is removed.

13. Graduate Program

a.  Program benefits for graduate coursework requires one year uninterrupted employment prior to the beginning date of the term, or sub-term for programs offering courses in a sub-term format, in which the employee or spouse is enrolling.  The employee is responsible for providing the employment (hire) date on the Employee Grant Form.

b.  Employees and spouses will be eligible to receive the tuition waiver benefit for a combined maximum of 12 graduate credit hours per financial aid year (Fall semester through Summer semester)  The university recommends that students not take more than 6 credit hours per term. (Temporary Exception:  Employees who used the tuition waiver benefit for graduate courses during the spring 2012 semester, will be allowed to continue using this benefit above the 12 credit hour per year limit until they graduate or stop out for a semester.)

c.  Maximum Funding Allowance (Graduate)

Within the annual full-time tuition rate equivalency noted in item 3. Maximum Institutional Award, no more than 12 credit hours per year may be used for graduate coursework. This 12 credit hour maximum is for a single student or a combination of several family members enrolled in graduate classes.

d. All students receiving a graduate tuition waiver under the Employee Grant Program are responsible for paying taxes on the fringe benefit amount. As such, the payroll office will add the value of such grants to your pay record for income tax withholding purposes. The fringe benefit amount will be split between the paychecks that occur in the respective semester and the amount will be included in your W-2 at the end of the year. This will decrease your net pay for these pay periods, since your taxes on this fringe benefit will be withheld, with no corresponding increase in your gross salary amount.

14.  Important Deadlines

a.  Fall semester deadline is July 1 each year. Employee Grant Forms and FAFSA (for appropriate financial aid year) must be received in the Enrollment Services office/Hunter Reception Center prior to the beginning of the fall semester. The Employee Grant Form will not be considered complete if it does not have all required signatures and have the student course schedule attached.  The student must be registered for classes and the tuition waiver will be based on the actual credit hours registered at the time the Employee Grant Form is submitted. Any changes to the credit hours will require submission of a REVISED Employee Grant Form.  Failure to do this could create a balance owed on the student account which will be the responsibility of the employee.

b.  Spring semester deadline is November 1 each year. Employee Grant Forms and FAFSA (for appropriate financial aid year) must be received in the Enrollment Services office/Hunter Reception Center prior to the beginning of the spring semester. The Employee Grant Form will not be considered complete if it does not have all required signatures and have the student course schedule attached. The student must be registered for classes and the tuition waiver will be based on the actual credit hours registered at the time the Employee Grant Form is submitted. Any changes to the credit hours will require submission of a REVISED Employee Grant Form. Failure to do this could create a balance owed on the student account which will be the responsibility of the employee.

c.  Summer semester (includes maymester, extended maymester and all summer sub-terms) deadline is April 1 each year. Employee Grant Forms and FAFSA (for appropriate financial aid year) must be received in the Enrollment Services office/Hunter Reception Center prior to the beginning of the summer semester. The Employee Grant Form will not be considered complete if it does not have all required signatures and have the student course schedule attached.  The student must be registered for classes and the tuition waiver will be based on the actual credit hours registered at the time the Employee Grant Form is submitted. Any changes to the credit hours will require submission of a REVISED Employee Grant Form.  Failure to do this could create a balance owed on the student account which will be the responsibility of the employee.

Charleston Southern University reserves the right to make revisions to these guidelines at anytime.  The Employee Grant Program is not an entitlement and is not guaranteed as an employee benefit.

Revised July 1, 2012/Financial Aid/dbw

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